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Posts Tagged ‘Avatar – movie review’

I took a couple of days off this week.  Just a little decompression time after working six days a week for the last three weeks.
I picked up a copy of “Avatar” and a copy of “The Shoes of the Fisherman“.  The first was a sci-fi movie which came out a few months back and was meant to transform the movie experience (because it was filmed and shown in 3D).  My DVD is not 3D, but I believe I enjoyed it more on the regular screen (TV) than I did at the theater.  Of course, the size was not as good, but the movie itself was more watchable for me – without the glasses or the distraction of flat 3D.
The second movie I watched was Fisherman, and it was (is) terrific.  It was movie of the year when it came out back in the 60’s.  It starred Anthony Quinn as a Russian archbishop who becomes Pope and who then turns around and pledges the wealth of the Church to help the starving Chinese.  This movie continues to touch me.  It leaves me wondering why our “real” Church can’t be more like Hollywood.  Why can’t the Church risk all it’s material wealth to help humanity?  I look at AIDS, starvation around the world, and so many other things the Church could do – not solve, but help with – and I have to ask why and why not?
I just finished the twelfth book in the Dresden Files series: “Changes” by Jim Butcher (2010©).  Dresden is a wizard who lives in Chicago.  This book is about him trying to assist a little girl who is to be sacrificed by some baddies.  There is a lot more to the story, but to say much more is to reveal good chunks of the story.  In any case, it is a good, fast, entertaining read and I highly recommend it.
Family Notes:
Today I spent a couple of hours looking at colleges with Sarah.  She has pretty good grades so she’s looking at some pretty elite schools: Princeton, Harvard, Duke, Penn, Stanford and Bowdoin.  Not really schools I would consider, but if she were to get in, I’d really try to see how we could help her.  Hil, of course, wants Sarah to go to DVC for two years to keep the cost down.

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Well, the start of another year!
I went to see the movie Avatar over the X-mas weekend.  It was a very entertaining action movie, but it was NOT earth (or life) changing.  I’m sure it’ll make loads of money, but I doubt it will end up being the mega-hit that Titanic was.
I just finished the book: “The Fourth Star” (2009©) written by Greg Jaffe and David Cloud over the X-mas weekend.  It’s about the lives and careers of four of the generals who’ve led the Army in the last decade.  The book tells how they came up through the ranks and some of the experiences which prepared them for the challenges they faced in the middle-east.  The book never glorifies war, but I found it to be incredibly self-serving.  It is an obvious attempt to get their side of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts out into public domain before the political hacks from the Bush Administration can get their stories out.
I don’t doubt that all four men are genuine patriots – as they define the term – I’m just not sure I define it the same way.  Their primary goal seems to be to make the Army the best that it can be and to protect it, as much as possible from both the politicians (who would misuse it) and from itself.  The confusion I have is I feel their primary duty is to protect the Constitution – from all enemies “foreign and domestic” – and not just to protect the country by protecting the Army.  I don’t know what these generals could have done to prevent the Iraq war or to prevent the mismanagement in Afghanistan, but I find it unbelievable to imagine they could not see the folly in both.
Further, I think their efforts to promote the Patreus surge in Afghanistan will harm the US military for decades and may cripple the Obama Administration.  The classic warning to all generals is that they always prepare their army to fight the last war.  The coincidence that a surge has temporarily worked in Iraq for a year, has now led them to convince President Obama that a similar strategy will work in Afghanistan.
I do not feel it will – further, I believe history will show the surge had a marginally short benefit in Iraq.
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